The Wind and the Spirit

Yesterday was a very important day for Christians.  It was Pentecost Sunday.  On this day we remember how the Holy Spirit came in a special way on the day of Pentecost.  You can read about this marvelous event in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.  I chose to preach from this passage yesterday, as I’m sure many other ministers did. 

As I’ve reflected today on the gift of the Holy Spirit is has occurred to me that when the biblical writers refer to the Spirit of God that images from nature are often used.  In Acts 2 the coming of the Spirit is accompanied by wind and fire.  At Jesus’ baptism the Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove.  The earliest reference to the Spirit is in Genesis 1:2 where it says “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

In both the Hebrew and Greek language the word for “wind” and “spirit” are the same.  Jesus himself brought attention to this connection in John 3 when he said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Often when I am out enjoying nature I remember this connection and sense the Spirit of God as the wind blows on my face or on the subjects I am photographing (like these poppies found near Gorman, California).   For those with eyes to see and ears to hear the Spirit of God is still hovering over the waters, and the forests, and the deserts, and all of Creation. O, for eyes to see and ears to hear!

–Chuck Summers